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A university library view

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Presentation given by invitation at the JISC Collections' Publisher Workshop, 29th November 2007.

Presentation given by invitation at the JISC Collections' Publisher Workshop, 29th November 2007.

Published in Education , Business
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Transcript

  • 1. Louise Cole Senior Information Advisor A university library view
  • 2. An aside …
    • Only started at Kingston (a Band D institution) in October so mainly taking examples from my 9 years working with e-resources at University of Leeds (a Band A institution)
  • 3. Summary
    • Trials
    • The subscription proper
    • What do academics want?
    • Some stories
    • Publisher mistakes
    • Good practice
    • The unforeseen …
  • 4. Trials
    • Sometimes not a trial to the whole product or very limited use
      • Prevents all stakeholders from evaluating
      • Reliability and suitability cannot be assessed
      • Technical issues not always checked
      • Software may not be downloadable
    • Trials sometimes place limited (IP only) or number restricted (one at a time) or time limited (7 or 14 days)
  • 5. Trials: the ideal
    • Time: at least 30 days and not targeted in the summer or in early autumn
    • Access: preferably on and off campus and unlimited access to all available content
    • Should consider a trial to be just that, a trial run of the product as if purchased
    • No licences unless absolutely necessary: take a lot of time to process
  • 6. The subscription proper
    • Order takes a long time
    • Often no access before payment has cleared, however small that payment is
    • Licences often sent out late, holding up the process as they need to be checked and approved
    • The ‘real thing’ doesn’t work when the trial did!
    • Incorrect URL / authentication …
  • 7. The subscription proper: the ideal
    • Set up access ASAP once a firm order has been placed
    • Licences provided in advance (and not just generic draft ones)
    • Customer/technical support in setting up the resource in early stages
    • Correct information provided re URLs and passwords
  • 8. What do academics want?
    • Quick and easy access at a date when the product is needed
    • Seamless process: they don’t care about delays and excuses
    • The full product, working from day one
    • No unexplained cut-offs, changes in authentication or product
    • A stable product throughout teaching time
  • 9. Some stories
    • Product A
      • Business database with financial statistics
      • No trial was allowed
      • Order took 3 months to process …
      • … and quote was changed during that time
      • Confusion over the licence
      • Next to no technical support
      • Billing severely delayed
      • Targeted students for more products!
  • 10. Some stories
    • Product B
      • Advertising resource
      • Trial allowed and customer rep helpful
      • Excellent feedback from faculty
      • Good usage statistics
      • When firm order placed, no contact …
      • … order abandoned after 6 months
  • 11. Some stories
    • Product C
      • Media resource
      • Trial proved unworkable as website out of action
      • Restricted numbers allowed
      • No confidence in product – order not pursued
  • 12. Some stories
    • Product D
      • Journal back file
      • Limited amount of downloads allowed
      • Exceeded in first few days so trial ended prematurely
      • Assumed ok because of current content
      • Licence proved difficult to obtain so relied on emails
  • 13. Some stories
    • Product E
      • Science database with full-text
      • Downloads enabled but not allowed during trial
      • Trial terminated due to ‘misuse’ after three days
      • Order for product not pursued
  • 14. Some stories
    • Product F
      • Science abstracting service with full-text
      • Software needed to view material
      • Software not available during trial
      • Order not pursued
  • 15. Publisher mistakes
    • Targeting the wrong people
    • No involvement or support after the sale has been made / ‘no name’ policy
    • Trials not allowed or when they are, they have not been thought through
    • ‘ Open access to all’ trials which raise expectations where assumptions are made
      • i.e. a trial title being linked from reading list
  • 16. Good practice
    • A trial should be the showpiece for a particular resource, not a trial in itself
    • Good documentation, good communication, flexibility (allowing more than one trial), understanding …
    • Send usage statistics for the trial period
    • … most of the time we do want to buy
    • Offer … but don’t hassle; if we want a trial, we’ll get back to you
  • 17. The unforeseen
    • People not available to assess the product
    • Open trials available at the wrong time
    • The funds might not be there although we like the product
    • Usage may be poor or non-existent
    • We might have had a trial without knowing it!
      • Faculty access for a year but no one said!
  • 18. In conclusion
    • The trial should be a product’s shop window so use it (or lose potential subs)
    • Be aware of semester dates, financial years, and other influences
    • Make it easy for us to subscribe to resources, not difficult
    • Establish good relationships built on mutual trust: think of your customer as ‘the good guy’!